The communists have long been known for their brutality and ruthlessness. It is reported that under Josef Stalin 20 million people met their ends under repressive communist apparatuses . It suggested that more than 40 million people died as a result of the reforms that were brought by Mao Zedong, the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party. The deaths were, amongst other things, caused by the communist economic dogma that caused famine .
China has long viewed its Uighur population as a threat. Firstly, it is ethnically and culturally different to its majority Han population. Secondly, the geography that it occupies has a strategic position in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that China wishes to embark upon. The Chinese have always feared that this area could be difficult for them to control. The actions that have been embarked upon by the Chinese regime can only be described as an attempt to expunge any semblance of Islam and Uighur identity from the whole of Xinjang: under the excuse of preventing terrorism.
Huge sections of the Uighur population have been swept up into internment camps. Chinese officials claim that the detainees are getting help to rid themselves of a dangerous thought virus i.e. any form of adherence to Islam. There have been reports that whilst the men are away that Han Chinese settlers come and live with families and even accounts of forced marriage and worse. Children are separated from parents and being sent to boarding schools where they are brought up under communist party doctrine. It is forced assimilation for the Muslims of the region – coercion for Muslims to leave Islam and become loyal to the Chinese Communist Party.
The 11 million Muslims of East Turkestan (Xinjiang) may be considered by some to be a Chinese ethnic minority group. This from the view point of Islam is incorrect. They like Muslim minorities in Europe or India are in fact members of the Muslim Ummah, numbering 1.8 billion, approximately one quarter of the population of the planet. The view of Islam with respect to the relationship between Muslims and Muslims is clear. They must help and support one another.
وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ إِلَّا تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُن فِتْنَةٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ
“Those who disbelieve—they are friends and protectors of one another. Unless you do it also (i.e. maintain solidarity among yourselves as believers) there will be unrest on the earth and great corruption.” [Al-Anfāl 8:73]
With all the resources possessed by the Muslim Ummah, the manpower in the subcontinent, the riches of the Gulf and a total combined armed forces amounting to millions of men: why is it that China today acts with impunity against Muslims within its midst? Some correctly blame the Muslim rulers but it is superficial to leave it at that. The truths of why the rulers of the Muslim lands behave with such incompetence and impotence need to be fathomed and explored so a solution can be understood.
Not a single Muslim state has acted to stop China from what it is doing. Imran Khan of Pakistan famously said “Frankly, I don’t know much about that” . Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia said that it was China’s “right” to use the brutal tactics that it’s employing for the purposes of de-radicalisation and extremism. President Xi of China thanked the UAE for backing China’s repressive policies against the Uighur Muslims . President Erdogan of Turkey is reported to have said “It is a fact that the people of all ethnicities in Xinjiang are leading a happy life amid China’s development and prosperity,” although this was paraphrased by a state-run Chinese daily news paper .
This clearly shows that Muslim rulers are not prepared to challenge China’s behaviour. Whilst Prime Minister Mahatir of Malaysia said that he will accept Uighur refugees and the Turks have allowed demonstrations on their streets there has been little else to help.
Most of the pressure being applied against Chinese policies against the Uighurs is by the US. Who are raising the issue as a stick with which to beat China. This is not because the US has any love for Muslims. They have killed millions of innocent Muslims in their so called war against terror.
Whilst Pakistan might be thinking about CPEC, the Gulf States about the large Chinese market for the sale of oil and Turkey about military cooperation in weapons having upset the US. What these states lack is the principle of adherence to Islam as the basis of their priorities. Whilst the economic benefits are understood, the priorities of state are not underpinned by Islam. For this reason such rulers and governments are oblivious to the plight of the Muslims of East Turkestan. This has to be tackled not just understood.
Whilst many Muslims will feel sympathy for the Uighur Muslims it is not enough to be left at that. It is a duty to call for Islam as being the basis of government. Muslims at large should no longer tolerate the forms of government foisted upon them from the colonial era. They should no longer think that they are hopeless and must take their destiny into their own hands.
Muslims must not adopt the same criteria as their rulers judging their actions upon benefit and harm only, rather they must understand that the criteria of Islam which is wide and obliges Muslims states to exhaust all possible means to assist oppressed Muslims where ever they may be.
To help our Uighur Muslim brother and sisters, we in the West must put our efforts into aiding the re-establishing the Khilafah state. We may face a similar plight at some point. Else we will have to rely on the likes of MBS and Imran Khan to help us and that will be no help at all! This is the only practical solution.